Who should undergo colorectal cancer screening? What does it include?
All individuals above 50 years of age belonging to all races are at a greater risk for colorectal cancer and should undergo screening.
The screening tests for colorectal cancer include testing for blood in the stools, barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy.
People having a history of colorectal cancer or polyps in their family are at an increased risk and should undergo screening at a younger age.
Screening should be performed at the age of 40 if only first-degree relatives suffered from polyp or cancer, and if multiple first-degree relatives had the problem, it should be done at 25 years of age. Patients with past history of cancer, colorectal polyps, and inflammatory bowel disease have a higher risk and should undergo periodic screening.
A colonoscopy is a good option for individuals with family- and personal history of colorectal cancer, while any of these tests are suitable for people at increased risk.